Finding Travel Inspiration

In this mid-Covid haze we, as travellers, have been left reeling in terms of where we can and cannot go. Every country has declared its own laws on who can and can’t get through the borders. I don’t know about you, but it’s left me confused and actually a little hesitant about travelling to other countries.

However, the time is fast approaching (for some it has already arrived) that we can travel internationally again. Whilst for some of us it is business as usual, others have been left feeling somewhat dejected about travelling. This article is about rekindling some of that lust for travel that we may have forgotten about, in the hopes that it will stir up some of those beautiful travel memories you have and be the inspiration that ignites those wanderlust desires!

The thirst we feel to see the world can come from so many different influences. I’m going to talk about how I stumbled upon travel inspiration originally, the desire it created, how it finally came into being and what you can do to follow your travel dreams, even in this currently confusing world.

Some of us are lucky enough to have travelled to different places as a child, with our parents, or other family members. This can create a benchmark of happy memories which follow us into adulthood and away we go into the world! For those of us who weren’t as well travelled at a young age, the majority of us stumble upon these travel desires through literature and cinematic experiences.

Cinema

I remember the first ‘pang’ of longing to travel that I had. I remember it so clearly because it hit me like a bolt of lightning and stayed with me for such a long time. It wasn’t just a need to holiday. It was a need to go on an extended adventure and experience different cultures. It was, of course, when I watched Eat Pray Love (yes, I saw the film before I read the book). Literally, every female interested in travel has either read the book or seen the film. It seems like such a cliché, but who cares?!

Elizabeth Gilbert has finalised her divorce and wants something more than her current relationship with her boyfriend – she wants to explore the world and thus explore who she is as a person, without any relationship involvement. She travels to Italy, India and Bali and we’re taken on an enlightening experience where she struggles with her inner demons and desire to change. The film adaptation really struck a chord with me (totally encouraged by my love of Julia Roberts). That was the first time I felt the ‘longing’.

I took a LOT of trips after that, mostly long weekends away around Europe trying to get my fill of culture, languages, food, and beautiful monuments. Anything I could access easily and afford, I did. It was still there though, the ‘longing’ I mean. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t satiated. After all, I was going where ever I thought was possible for me.

Literature

It wasn’t until I read ‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho that I realised how short sighted I was actually being. I was planning my dreams around a lifestyle that couldn’t accommodate what I wanted. Again, The Alchemist is world famous in the travel community. The story follows a young shepherd from Spain to Egypt and, although he initially has a purpose, he realises that he found his meaning of life by ‘going with the flow’ so to speak. He is directed by his instincts alone. It is an incredibly moving and inspirational story and remains THE best piece of literature I’ve ever read purely for its impact upon me.

At this point I felt my need to travel spike and it was all I could think about. I was already unhappy in my lifestyle choice and reading this book made everything a lot clearer to me. I actually became quite emotional when I talked about it with others. I made the decision at that point to prioritise travel in my life and make plans for an extended trip. That leads us to the final aspect, the final move on the chessboard that solidified my decision.

Research

It may not sound as romantic as the previous reasons, but it propelled me forward even further in my plans. Every moment I could spare at home or at work I was online reading and researching places in the world that I’d like to visit. This predominantly consisted of travel blogs by solo female travellers who had taken the plunge way before me and discovered travelling solo in various countries. I was amazed by their courage and soon realised that I could do it too. I could save up and travel wherever I wanted and nothing could stop me.

I find that the Lonely Planet website really gets my travel motivation going! If you’re a travel foodie, you also can’t beat watching YouTube channels of food markets. At a time like this, looking to other travellers for advice and inspiration is a sensible thing to do. So many seasoned travellers live for exploring the world and have been chomping at the bit to get on the road again.

So, why am I telling you all of this? I guess there are a few reasons. We all have dreams and aspirations and not only about travelling, but if you have thought about it and you’ve tried to dismiss it because it doesn’t seem possible, think again. It is absolutely possible and you would be doing yourself a disservice if you denied yourself the chance to travel. If you need a bit of encouragement, because of the current state of the world, find something to inspire you. It could be cinema, it could be literature, it could be anything. If you dream of it, surround yourself with it and just watch as what you want comes to you.

Society expects us to follow a set path in life and that pressure can be so immense that it’s easy to bow down to it and just blindly accept that that is just the way life has to be. If you are unhappy then it is vital to your quality of life to challenge these societal norms and, more importantly, to challenge yourself. This may sound like vague advice, but it is a thought process that can be applied no matter what the circumstance.

So, my advice to you is simple:

DREAM big

ASPIRE to see the world

IMMERSE yourself in your desire

CHALLENGE yourself